Your first thought was probably "Oh my stars and garters!" (or whatever the Victorian version of "What the actual fuck?!" was). People call the priest when they have a toothache, and yet they're flying across the Atlantic Ocean? Huzzah! The age of miracles has begun! Maybe this stubbed toe doesn't have to be a death sentence anymore! Reading the article closer, you find out that a European gentleman and his seven friends were attempting to steer their coal-powered hot air balloon from Wales to Paris when a sudden gale launched them toward the Atlantic Ocean. Seventy-five hours later, one of the aeronauts recorded the following in his journal:
"We are in full view of the low coast of South Carolina. The great problem is accomplished. We have crossed the Atlantic -- fairly and easily crossed it in a balloon! God be praised! Who shall say that anything is impossible hereafter?"
New Yorkers practically trampled their neighbors to get a copy of the paper, because they all wanted a piece of that sweet, tangy history.
Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty
"We were on our way to Flugtag and thought, 'Fuck it -- transatlantic voyage.'"
But Actually ...
The New York Sun had been fed a hoax. Giggling coquettishly while the world ate up a complete fantasy was none other than this guy:
A press release that used the phrase "Chilling tale of horrors most foul and unnatural" should've been a clue.